The United States welcomes the continuing engagement of the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan, who met in Juba yesterday to improve bilateral cooperation and make progress in implementing the September 27, 2012 agreements for resolving issues stemming from the separation of Sudan and South Sudan. We take note of the two Presidents’ decisions to fully establish the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) by mid-November, open border crossings, and facilitate movement and trade between the two countries—including through the convening of a dialogue on “soft borders.”
While we also welcome the Presidents’ agreement to expedite the establishment of the Abyei Administration, Abyei Council, and Abyei Police Service, we note that previous commitments to do so have yet to be implemented. We further call on both countries to make progress on resolving the final status for Abyei on the basis of the September 21, 2012 African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) proposal. We also call on Abyei community leaders to refrain from actions that could increase tensions in Abyei.